Designing for new spatial requirements, societal demands and economic values

Exhibition Opening: 15 January 2021

More than 100 proposals were submitted following ANCB's Call for Entries that was published in the summer. The selected contributions will be shown in an exhibition at Aedes Architecture Forum, opening on 15 January 2021 and discussed during a closing symposium on 11 March. A catalgue will be published.

Copyright: Shutterstock / elenabsl

Recent crises have evoked a growing sense of responsibility among architects, urbanists, activists, researchers together with economists worldwide, to use their knowledge to raise awareness that our way of life is losing its measures in an overwhelming quantity of expansion and rash decisions. In the wake of world-wide emergencies, such as climate change, pandemics, but also rapid growth, social inequalities, the North-South gap and migration waves, it is necessary to create a balance to increase resilience and reduce the impact of everyday urban life on resources, from the scale of the individual to an international approach. In an exhibition and accompaying formats, ANCB will investigate existing best practice examples and stimulate new visions for the built environment concerned with a better socio-economic coherence in our human habitat.


A devastating situation can present an opportunity for innovation and it is hoped that something new and good can be realised in the long-term. The coronavirus crisis mirrors the advantages and disadvantages of globalisation very clearly by increasing social gaps, shifting priorities in society, job markets, health care and basic needs. The momentum of the current crisis also leads, besides hardship and struggle, to a globally experienced solidarity and constructive reflections on how we can reconfigure living together on a spatial and economical level while taking care of our health and wellbeing. This potential should be activated, and already existing proposals or projects concerned with consequences of such reforms revived. New typologies for living, learning, working and leisure that are tailored to patterns and needs beyond short-term economic profit and shareholder interests are currently being considered or have already been invented with the intention to function as instigators of social, infrastructural or economic change.
Disasters evoke fears in the public about the visible and invisible insecurities and vulnerabilities targeting our cities, and have an impact on the physical appearance of our urban environment. A holistic approach is needed to react to these fears and to recover after the current pandemic subsides. There is a chance to use this disaster response to mitigate an even more dangerous crisis predicted by science: the costs of global temperature rise will be higher than transitioning to clean energy and there are limits to growth. At the same time, a shift in policies and planning objectives is required to keep the consumption of natural resources within the regenerative capacity of ecosystems and planetary boundaries to avoid climate disaster and a global battle for living environment. Incentives might help socially responsible, sustainable companies gain advantages on the market. Environmental policies will need to be linked with an employment policy to improve qualification development to create new jobs. Spaces for knowledge and possibly new typologies to accommodate flexible workspaces can emerge. There is a longing for the human body as for the human encounter that is able to create space – and a desire for public and private spaces, that enable human encounter. Responses might include identifying new ways to use our public space, to interact with each other inside and outside of building walls and homes, to work towards an architecture of flexibility and to create spaces for production in the city, enabling societal and economic coherence. Re-thinking supply chains and travel habits could lead to new concepts for mobility and infrastructures.  

In collaboration with:
ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, Hamburg
Österreichisches Kulturforum, Berlin


Exhibition opening: 15 January 2021
Exhibition: 16 January - 11 March 2021
Symposium: 11 March 2021
Publication: 11 March 2021

Contact: Miriam Mlecek, [email protected], +49 30 282 70 15

The format of all events will be decided on according to any health regulations in place at the time.




ANCB Partners 2020

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